Your annual Eric Chavez is making a comeback story

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Eric Chavez headshot.jpgTulips and crocuses.  Robins. Meaningful college basketball games.  All of these are classic harbingers of spring, but perhaps the surest sign that spring is here is the annual Eric Chavez comeback story. Hark! There it is!

Mike Gallego has a fun challenge this spring: The A’s infield coach has to turn a Gold Glove third baseman into a competent first baseman.  Going from third to first isn’t a snap, as Eric Chavez already has discovered. Gallego has worked with Chavez three days a week since Feb. 1, and it’s coming along slowly . . . If Chavez continues to have good health after his second back surgery,
the plan is that he’ll be a utilityman, playing at third, first, DH and
maybe even at shortstop and the outfield.

I wish I was in A’s camp this week. I’d ask someone from the front office if they’d pick up Chavez’s $12.5 million option for 2011 in the event he makes it as a utilityman.

Diamondbacks sign Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.

Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?